Meet Eris, The Solar System's Largest Dwarf Planet

Discussion on planetary observations

Meet Eris, The Solar System's Largest Dwarf Planet

Postby Nightspore » Sun May 31, 2015 1:57 pm

Eris is the largest dwarf planet in the Solar System, and the ninth largest body orbiting our Sun. Sometimes referred to as the “tenth planet,” its discovery is responsible for upsetting the traditional count of nine planets in our Solar System, as well as leading the way to the creation of a new astronomical category.

Located beyond the orbit of Pluto, this “dwarf planet” is both a trans-Neptunian object (TNO), which refers to any planetary object that orbits the Sun at a greater distance than Neptune – or 30 astronomical units (AU). Because of this distance, and the eccentricity of its orbit, it is also a member of a the population of objects (mostly comets) known as the “scattered disk.”

The discovery of Eris was so important because it was a celestial body larger than Pluto, which forced astronomers to consider, for the first time in history, what the definition of a planet truly is. ~ io9

http://io9.com/meet-eris-the-solar-syst ... 1707948972

‘The dwarf planet is rather bright and can be detected using something as simple as a small telescope.’ ~ op cit

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